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Saint Peter the Apostle

Saint Peter the Apostle
  • Century: 1st Century
  • Patronage: Papacy, Workers
  • Feast Day: June 29th

Saint Peter or Simon Peter was an early Christian leader and one of the twelve apostles of Jesus.  He was the son of Jonah, and was from the village of Bethsaida, in the province of Galilee.  He was born in the year 1 BC, and was martyred in the year 64.  His brother was Andrew, and was also an apostle.  

Peter is venerated in multiple churches and is regarded as the first Pope in our Catholic Church.  After working to establish the church in Antioch, living there for seven years as the leader of the city’s Christian community, he preached to scattered communities of believers.  Seven years he did this, after the crucifixion, and then he went to Rome.   He became the first Pope and held that chair for 25 years. 

Peter was originally a fisherman, and he was assigned a leadership role by Jesus and was with Jesus during events witnessed by only a few Apostles, such as the Transfiguration.  Cephas (Aramaic) and Peter (Greek) both mean, “Rock”.  According to the New Testament, Peter confessed Jesus as the Messiah, was part of Jesus’ inner circle, walked on water, witnessed Jesus’ transfiguration, denied Jesus, was restored by Jesus, and preached to the crowds on the day of Pentecost, just to name a few things.  

Peter is the Rock on which Jesus said he would build His Church. Peter was chosen as the first Disciple of Jesus.  Peter was crucified under Emperor Nero, wih the cross being upside down at his own request, since he saw himself unworthy to be crucified in the same way as Jesus Christ.  Catholic Tradition holds that Saint Peter’s mortal bones and remains are contained in the underground Confessio of the St. Peter’s Basilica.  Pope Paul VI annouonced the excavation discovery of a First Century A.D. Roman Cemetary in 1968.  Since then, starting in 1969, a life-size statue of Saint Peter is crowned every year in St. Peter’s Basilica with a Papal Tiara, Ring of the Fisherman, and Papal Vestments every June 29th, commemorating the Holy Feast of Saints Peter and Paul. 

Practical Take Away

St. Peter was amongst the very first Aposltes of Jesus, and witnessed first hand the saving Grace, the uncondintional Love, and the great Mercy of our Lord.  He was entrusted with the Keys to the Kingdom.  Peter spent his life in service to others, to bring that message of hope to all Christians.  He even was martyred for his faithfulness to Jesus.  With his human limitations, and his even denying Christ, Jesus was able to see through this, forgive him, and entrust him with such an important role as being the first Pope to our wonderful Holy Mother Church.  What more can you and I do, to continue to build up the Church, by serving all of those around us, who unlike St. Peter, never walked with Jesus?   Let’s call on St. Peter, who is so relevant and alive with us today, to help us answer that same call.  Always draw from the body of our Church “Triumphant” and you won’t be disappointed.